Business outcomes or value briefs can be an advantage for any sales rep to become more knowledgeable about their specific account.
They are a beneficial tool to help you close more sales and give you deeper insight into the operations of the company. But, more than that, business briefs are useful tools down the entire marketing and sales funnel, from top to bottom. For the companies just getting to know your offer, they provide a brief, relevant overview of what your product or service offers to their operations; they give those further down the funnel the final push with a narrative they can relate to.
But as a sales-focused professional who doesn’t have much experience in financial analysis and business strategy, it can be extremely difficult to decipher which business outcome narrative is the best for you. The amount of number and turns and juxtapositioning you need to do, to get aligned with the account, it’s priorities and initiatives, and align your business outcomes to them is sheer daunting.
The most common misconceptions I see are sales reps getting caught up in the output of the information and how it’s presented but lose sight of the actual objective. The objective should be to get in the door of the decision makers first and foremost. If your ‘Business Value Briefs’ cannot accomplish this, then you are wasting your money.
How do I get in the door with a ‘Business Outcome Brief”?
The most effective briefs will know how to align your sales team with the initiatives of the company. It’s not just industry analysis and competitive landscape—those features have been around for decades and don’t separate you from the competition because everyone is doing that analysis. Moreover, the C-levels know the industry and their competitors or else they wouldn’t be there, it’s their job to know. These decision makers want to hear actionable plans of how your product aligns with the company’s vision.
Furthermore, it goes beyond an ROI.
The best briefs dive into the company’s 10k, CFO/CEO messages, press releases, Wall Street consensus, analysts following the call, etc. All of this information will collectively tell you the business outcome narrative—without the narrative, it’s impossible to align with the company’s initiatives.
“70% of salespeople don’t know the basic business financial acumen selling concepts, including the identification of financial statement categories, basic financial terminology (such as gross margin), KPI impact and basic ROI concepts.”
Customer Think, 150,000 Monthly Visitors, 200 Countries
This proves that it takes more than just top-level knowledge about each account, or industry ramifications, or the competitive landscape. Your sales team needs to find the briefs that bring all of the different variables into a comprehensible report so you can understand the most important financial acumen and then articulate that to the decisions makers.
The best knowledge from each account comes from the decision makers.
If you are not receiving data or getting insight into their initiatives, then the report is not diving deep enough. Decision makers in B2B companies want to know how your solution will either make or save them money. The numbers contained in a business brief are often the persuading factors that help your internal stakeholder secure budget approval from his or her finance team. The briefs that just cover the top-level analysis (Industry, Competition, ROI) do not add the value you need to get in the door nor to close the sale.
Imagine approaching a C-level executive who has been with the company for 20 years?
After hello, you present them with a top-level analysis. He will not take you seriously and will be borderline insulted of your perception that he doesn’t understand the competitive nature of his own company.
Furthermore, look for the company briefs that emphasize personalization over automation. After all, the main reason you’re in sales is that you can make the important relationships. If the report includes too much automation you won’t be able to make it actionable. First, you won’t understand it and second, you can’t connect it with the decision makers. You risk getting a repackaged, hollow story that won’t be true.
“40% don’t understand the concept of an investment “hurdle rate”, let alone appreciate its importance to investment decision-making.”
Customer Think, 150,000 Monthly Visitors, 200 Countries
ROI is never enough.
ROI is a metric the target company uses for accessing cost and calculating the Net Present Value of investing in your project—not for generating more revenues. Company briefs need to embody all the operational aspects of the company including revenue, cost cutting, margin control, liquidity metrics, etc. Early in the buying process, your buyer is focused on evaluating how your solution maps to their required capabilities. That’s when you need to highlight how your solutions can help alleviate their most pressing business needs. Later in the sales process though, your buyer will be looking to mitigate risk in the purchase. They want to feel comfortable about doing business with you.
The Bottom Line
Not all business value briefs are the same. It would be a shame for your sales team to waste time and resources on briefs that just reiterate what the company decision makers already know. In a competitive landscape that sales vendors operate in—it is absolutely crucial to separate yourself. Using industry analysis, key drivers, and ROI is now doing the bare minimum. Find the business briefs that have deep fundamental analysis, align with the initiatives of the company, and can give you actionable narratives for the company to use. Not only with those briefs get you ‘in the door’ with C-level executives but it will also lead to converting more sales.
SPEEDSHEETS – easiest and fastest way to access and sell C-Suite
Revenue Accelerators and SPEEDSHEETS are the ONLY B2B account-based sales intelligence tool that quantifies vendor value and aligns it financially with each target account to enable sales reps to access and meet with coveted C-Suite. SPEEDSHEETS are personalized, financial business cases and points of view for the front-end of any sales cycle. We transform Product to Value selling overnight for faster and greater pipelines. www.revenueaccelerators.com